The nomination, among the four sent to the Senate, would have to be confirmed by the Senate before he is assigned a ministerial slot and sworn into office.
Mr. Shekarau, a former two-term governor of Kano, was a founding member and leader of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC. He played a major role in the merger of the initial All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, with others to form the APC.
The ex-governor, however, fell out with the opposition when the current Kano governor, Musa Kwankwaso, and four other governors left the PDP to join the APC.
It was clear to political observers that Mr. Kwankwaso, who succeeded Mr. Shekarau and had a running battle with the ex-governor, could not be in the same party with his predecessor. Only one of them could control the structure of the APC in Kano.
The APC national leaders chose the incumbent and Mr. Shekarau had to leave the party.
On January 29, he announced his decision to leave the party he helped form; and two weeks later declared the APC a fraud.
"The soul of the APC is lost," the ex-governor said. "It cannot be touched or seen."
"APC Constitution is a political fraud. There is no management at any level of APC. This is the issue we raised and this is what we challenged. I did all I could do to salvage the APC with no results. I refused to keep quiet at the face of the shenanigans going on in the APC," he added.
When Mr. Jonathan attended the Kano April 15 rally to welcome Mr. Shekarau to PDP, it was clear the president had gotten a new ally in Kano, importantly for his 2015 presidential elections.
Mr. Shekarau's nomination as minister appears a confirmation of that. The ex-governor has pledged to work for Mr. Jonathan or any PDP presidential candidate in 2015.
Apart from the former Kano governor, the other nominees are Abdul Bulama from Yobe State, Adedayo Adeyeye from Ekiti State, and Stephen Oruh from Delta State. Mr. Oruh is the National Vice Chairman, South South, of the Peoples Democratic Party, while Mr. Adeyeye is a leader of the PDP in Ekiti.
The Senate announced the nominees during its plenary session on Wednesday.
In the letter the president addressed to the senators through the Senate President, David Mark, he said it was done in accordance with the 1999 Constitution as amended.
"In accordance with section 147 sub section 2 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, I have the honour to forward the under listed ministerial nominees for consideration for senate confirmation."
The letter, which was read by Mr. Mark, said that the Curriculum Vitae of all the nominees were attached to the letter.
The vacancies were created based on the resignation of the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe (Delta); Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade (Ekiti), and Finance, Yerima Ngama.
The name of Jamila Salik (Kano) had earlier been submitted for consideration and confirmation, but she was not screened by the Senate.